What we learned this week

  • Would you drive a Dyson? Inventor James Dyson is sinking billions into developing a new electric car. I’m curious to see what this will be, given his ability to fairly substantially reimagine things we think we know. I am also a bit disappointed to hear that he isn’t prioritising affordability.
  • There must be others, but this is the first time I’ve heard of insect foods available from a Western supermarket: Essento‘s bug burgers and meatballs are on sale at seven branches of Switzerland’s coop.
  • You can explore traditional homes from around the world on Google Earth. I’m going to save this to entertain the kids on a rainy day.
  • Another podcast on the Basic Income, this time the wonderful 99% Invisible look at Finland’s experiment. Worth listening even if you dislike the BI, for the notes on how Finland is applying design thinking to policy.
  • I promised myself I’d do a bit of a design refresh on the blog for its tenth birthday, and the year is running away with me. I have a vision for it in mind and I hope to do it this week. If you visit and find things a bit askew or unfamiliar, please bear with me.


  1. Some form of unconditional benefit is worth considering as an alternative to the complexity of existing means-tested and other targetted benefits, which create perverse incentives.

    However, in the absence of LVT, basic income is just a giveaway to landlords of slum properties. There is also the question of how it should be paid for. In the absence of LVT, the money would have to come by raising existing taxes, which are part of the problem in the first place.

    If LVT were in place at an effectively high level, there would probably be little need for basic income anyway.

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